Award winning Bestselling Author Don Brown Releases a Gripping New Book Titled: Travesty of Justice: The Shocking Prosecution of Lt. Clint Lorance
By Posted by Rescue Mission and Community Contributor
Apr 04, 2019 | 10:17 AM
On the morning of July 2, 2012, in the most dangerous warzone in the world, Lieutenant Clint Lorance took command of his small band of American paratroopers at the spearhead of the American War in Afghanistan. Intelligence reports that morning warned of a Taliban ambush against Lorance's platoon. Fifteen minutes into their patrol, three military-age Afghan males crowded on a motorcycle and sped aggressively down a Taliban-controlled dirt road toward Lorance's men. Three weeks earlier, outside the massive American Kandahar Airfield, Taliban terrorists struck by motorcycle, riding into a crowded area, detonating body-bombs and killing twenty-two people. Sixty-three days before that, three Ohio National Guard soldiers were murdered in another motorcycle-suicide bombing. Suicide-by-motorcycle had become a common Taliban murder-tactic against Americans. Lorance had seconds to react. Either open fire and protect his men, or ignore the speeding motorcycle and pray like hell that his men weren't about to get blown the hell up. In a split-second decision, Lorance ordered his men to fire. When no weapons were found on the Afghan bodies, the Army betrayed one of its finest young officers and prosecuted Lorance for "murder." Hiding crucial evidence from the military jury, and ordering his own men to testify against him or face murder charges themselves, they railroaded Lorance into a 20-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth, where he remains today. TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE chronicles the true story of the most despicable political prosecution in American military history. Readers will not want to put this book down... https://amzn.to/2I6B4oh
Don Brown is the author of Thunder in the Morning Calm, The Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series, and The Black Sea Affair, a submarine thriller that predicted the 2008 shooting war between Russia and Georgia. Don served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, which gave him an exceptional vantage point into both the Navy and the inner workings "inside-the-beltway" as an action officer assigned to the Pentagon. He left active duty in 1992 to pursue private practice, but remained on inactive status through 1999, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He and his family live in North Carolina, where he pursues his passion for penning novels about the Navy.
QUESTION: In your view why is the Clint Lorance story a story a story in your view one that needs to be told to the world? DON: Clint Lorance was a paratrooper in the famed 82nd Airborne Division, who faced a politically-motivated prosecution for "murder" in a military court-martial, that became the most despicable political prosecution in the history of the United States military. Lorance took action to try to save his men from Taliban suicide bombers in Afghanistan, and ordered his men to fire on three-military age males who were charging Lorance's platoon at high rates of speed, on a road controlled by the Taliban, at a time when the Taliban was using suicide-by-motorcycle to blow themselves up and kill American troops.
Clint had to make a split-second decision on whether to protect his men, or risk having his men be blown to oblivion by the speeding motorcycle riders approaching his platoon. So, he ordered his men to fire. But because no guns were initially found on the Afghans' bodies, the Army betrayed Lorance, and prosecuted him for "murder" of all things.
Bowing to pressure to enforce liberal rules-of-engagement pressure from the Obama administration, and bowing to pressure from to Afghan government to show it would get tough on "civilian casualties," the Army ordered Lorance's men to testify against him, or face "murder" charges themselves. Again, all this was to appease the Afghan government (which was negotiating directly with the Taliban at the time) and to send a message that American soldiers had to succumb to the suicidal rules of engagement which has been placed into effect at the time, the summer of 2012.
The prosecution of Lieutenant Clint Lorance, was truly was a political prosecution, a TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE in which the Army railroaded Lorance into a twenty-year prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. QUESTION: For five years you were a JAG officer and served as a military prosecutor, a Special Assistant United States Attorney. For your new book Clint Lorance did you draw on your experiences as a JAG officer to write the book? DON: TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE, is my 14th book, and all of them have been on the U.S. Military in one way or another. Some have been fiction, and some nonfiction. I wish the Clint Lorance story were a novel, just a fictional piece of the imagination. Unfortunately, it is not, and a real-life American Hero, Lieutenant Clint Lorance, is sitting in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, serving a 20-year sentence, for trying to save his men, betrayed by his country in a political prosecution.
The prosecution of Lieutenant Clint Lorance is the most disgusting military prosecution imaginable and should never have been brought. In fact, those who made the despicable decision to prosecute this American hero should be prosecuted themselves as far as I'm concerned. But to answer your question, I drew heavily upon my experience as a U.S. Navy JAG officer, and particularly as a former U.S. Navy prosecutor. I have prosecuted dozens of felony-level cases in the military justice system before dozens of military juries, recognizing responsibility of the prosecution to be forthcoming with the defense, and not hide exculpatory evidence, from either the defense team at trial, or from the military jury. The prosecution in the Clint Lorance case hid evidence that the three Afghans who Clint's men fired upon were Taliban bomb-makers whose bombs were used to kill Americans.
QUESTION: When people read this book what do you hope they take away from untold story they've learned? DON: I hope they take away the fact that the prosecution of Lieutenant Clint Lorance has been a disgusting TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE, that Clint Lorance should never have been prosecuted, and that he is innocent. From that, I hope my readers will they will take action to contact the President of the United States to urge an immediate pardon of Clint and the urge that he is restored to active duty with back pay for the many years that he has had to serve, and justifiably, for taking action to save his men.
I hope they remember that Clint himself did not even pull the trigger that shot the Taliban operatives who were speeding toward his platoon in the motorcycle, yet the Army, in the Obama Administration, what is a political scalp, and Clint found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I encourage everyone reading this to call the White House, and Leave a message at the White House switchboard at 202-456-1111, urging the president to use his authority as commander-in-chief to vacate all charges against Clint, to grant Clint a "DFS," which is a Disapproval of the Findings and Sentence and to restore Clint to active duty with back pay in full benefits, immediately. I also encourage everyone reading this to please email the White House at https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ and ask the President to pardon Lieutenant Clint Lorance, to vacate all charges against him under his authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, to grant Clint a "DFS," which is a Disapproval of the Findings and Sentence and to restore Clint to active duty with back pay in full benefits, immediately.
Clint sits alone inside the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, a patriot who put his life on the line for our country, but is being treated like a traitor. It is time to end this TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE. If anyone has any questions, you can contact me through my Twitter page at @donbrownbooks. QUESTION: Downtime is necessary for many writers, especially lawyers such as yourself, what do you do when it's time for you to relax and unwind? DON: Downtime? What's that? Ha-ha just kidding. No not really. Actually, I have been accused of being someone of a workaholic, and there's not a lot of down time that I have. But when I do have down time, I watch Carolina basketball, Carolina football, and I'm talking the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, not the Panthers, I also like taking long walks and enjoy the sunshine. I also enjoy traveling whenever I get a chance, which is not as often as I would like. But it's important to finds something whether it's out in nature, or focusing on something else to let the brain rest for a while. Writing it can be very taxing at times but it can also be worth it. But to stay on track, and to keep the writer's edge, at least some rest and relaxation, to be able to recharge, is a must.
QUESTION: You're a rather prolific writer, what's your favorite thing to do once you've put a new book to bed? DON: Great question. Usually once I put a book to bed, I am moving on to the next book. I'm usually balancing several book ideas in my head at the same time, and starting the next project is always an exciting time for me. I rarely read the last book that I've written, once it's published, except maybe sometimes to pull certain excerpts out of it for public speaking appearances are other reasons that may be of interest to listeners our readers. But to me it is exhilarating to move on to the next project, and to have one book built upon the next.
QUESTION: How do politics play a role in the ultimate outcome of Clint's story? DON: That's another great question. The general scheme of things, politics from time to time have gotten American troops killed, whether in Vietnam - with our "take a hill, abandon the hill, then take the hill again" strategy -- or now in the Afghan War - with the Obama Administration's "don't shoot unless you get shot at first" foolishness.
But in this case, politics played a big role. Remember, Clint's platoon was threatened on the morning of July 2, 2012 by 3 Afghan motorcycle riders in a hot, a hundred-degree remote battlefield in the most Taliban-infested section of the world.
Just one year earlier, in June of 2011, President Obama at that time had announced that the United States would unilaterally withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. That announcement came a little less than two months after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama Bin Laden. The announcement ignited a firestorm in Afghanistan and sent the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, into a panic. Karzai worried that he couldn't survive once American forces left Afghanistan, and started negotiating directly with the Taliban. The United States also began to negotiate directly with the Taliban, and the Taliban complained in these negotiations that U.S. forces were killing too many Taliban members. The Taliban complaints were brought through the ruse of "civilian casualties."
As a result of that, the U.S. military was forced to tighten its rules of engagement and the rules of engagement became suicidal. Rule number 1, American troops could not shoot, unless fired upon first. Rule Number 2, if U.S. troops were in a firefight, and the enemy broke off and ran, U.S. forces could not purse the enemy and finish them off.
Rule Number 3, was what I call the "battlefield lawyer" rule. For example, American troops were required to play lawyer on the battlefield by going through a two-part analysis before deciding whether to fire. First, U.S. forces had to determine if the enemy had a "hostile intent." Then they had to determine if the enemy had a "hostile act." This was especially true during the last eight years of the Afghan war under the Obama administration. Well by the time our guys get through playing battlefield lawyer to decide if they could fire to defend themselves, the enemy could have blown the soldier the hell up, and that is in fact what often happened.
Lots of guys got killed because of these stupid, asinine, suicidal rules. This was the very predicament that Clint Lorance faced when these three yahoos on a motorcycle were speeding at his platoon on the battlefield, in a hostile war zone. To defend his men? Or let them get killed?
In Clint's case, against a backdrop where the Taliban had been killing Americans with motorcycles, by driving fast toward American troops and then detonating themselves, Clint had to make a split-second decision. "Do I order my men to fire and protect them against a possible suicide bomb attack?" "Or do I do nothing and pray like hell that my men don't get blown up?" Clint was at war, and had to make a split-second decision. He opted to try and protect his men. For that, the Army, under heavy political pressure, decided to make an example out of him by prosecuting him. Later, the new defense team, led by Lieutenant Colonel John N. Maher, who heads the Lorance defense team, which I also serve on with two other ex-military JAG officers, Kevin J. Mikolashek and David Bolgiano, discovered bombshell evidence showing the great lengths Army prosecutors had taken to railroad Clint.
The prosecution hid biometrics evidence that linked the Afghan motorcycle riders to bomb-making designed to kill Americans. In fact, the prosecution did not even turn the evidence over to the former Defense team at the time of the court-martial. It was totally hidden from the defense team at the court-martial and from the military jury that these motorcycle riders were Taliban bomb makers. Hiding this evidence was part of a deliberate attempt to deliver Clint Lorance's head on a silver platter. That's why we call this book TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE. This wrong needs to be made right.
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